Censorship and Art

Either I “can’t be reached for comment” because I don’t want to be reached or because someone (or system or government controlling authority) has, by decree, decided that I shouldn’t have a public voice.

If it hasn’t happened to you then there’s a reasonable chance that it’ll happen, whether you like it or not. It’s a bit like power outages — you know it’s possible but you don’t often prepare for these things and when it comes…

… it hits you like a ton of bricks.

And to that end as I’ve decided to go 100% radio silent on social media / web 2.0 tools because I’d rather be in control of my voice and my art than someone else telling me to shut it all down.

Consequently, I’ve shut it all down or stopped posting entirely on all of the obvious networks like Twitter but now, as of this post, all the “rest” are now moved / migrated as well. This includes the two YouTube accounts with tens of thousands of subscribers, LinkedIn (thank you Jesus) and even our public and open-source GitHub handbook among many others.

It’s about damn time.

But it’s not just about censorship, it’s about making a reasonable and honest living and making sure that I can feed my family and provide for their needs via the work of my own two hands. Crazy how I’ve allowed both the system to dictate what I can post and how much I can make from it.

That is insane.

You see, that entire “stack” and industry have been monetizing my art for decades and I’m entirely over that nonsense now. I simply want more of my earnings to be mine. Period. Full-stop.

If my art is worth $100 then I want to keep $100 and not be taxed 10 times before it reaches my bank account so that I end up with $10 (or less).

Brutal.

My art has made all of those networks and predatory businesses a ton of money, money that should be going into our pockets. But, there weren’t very many good alternatives… until now.

Finally (!!!) the tools, technologies, and cultural perspectives around decentralization have taken hold and has allowed us to take back what’s been stolen and to give the artist and creator more executive control.

I mean, it’s for the sake of art that I do these things; it’s about honoring the artist and creator in everything that I do at this point. It’s time for the real, and especially-useful metaverse to stand up and YEN is one tool in a growing list of metaplatforms.

I’m going to engage with my community and the larger internet via my own, special, bespoke and customized universe (or “yeniverse”). I plan on adding more unique things to my digital home(s) in the metaverse and I’d encourage you to do the same — we call this activity “metaforming” and it’s a deeply personal (and fun) process.

After a few more posts on this blog and then that’ll be it; I simply won’t be as “available for comment” on much of anything because I’m just not interested in engaging in any forms of web 2.0 any more. That might sound crazy…

…and it probably is. But let’s be real: Those social networks that you are currently using are no longer bringing you the value that it once did; barely a fraction, if we’re to be clinical with our assessment.

And if they are bringing you “value” we all can agree that it’s not the “value” that you rightly deserve and should be taking home (and putting in your pocket).

Let’s go!

And you’re (still) okay with that? Psssshhhhhhhh. LOL. See you around… just don’t be late to the party! Besides, the web’s 3rd iteration is already much more fun than the last cycle and there is more money over here for your art.

Come get some.


Reporting via AXIOS

AXIOS shares an important note on “fiat” social media governance and it’s a powerful reminder that controlling your art (and your financial destiny) is more important than ever before. We may not have network-wide, government sanctioned outages but we definitely have “blackouts” where folks who have differing opinions find themselves deplatformed out of the blue.

Again, more insanity.

Once rare, partial or total internet shutdowns engineered by governments have become a near-daily occurrence somewhere in the world.

Why it matters: Such shutdowns pose a threat to human rights and are also costing the global economy billions of dollars per year, according to a new report from nonprofit Access Now and Jigsaw, a unit of Google parent Alphabet.

By the numbers:

  • Access Now documented 50 internet shutdowns in 21 countries during the first five months of 2021.
  • In addition to the impact on human rights and individual lives, there is a huge economic cost. The report notes that severe, prolonged internet shutdowns in Myanmar have resulted in an economic loss of $2.1 billion, or 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP.

“The problem is getting worse both in intensity and costs,” Jigsaw’s Dan Keyserling tells Axios. That’s partly because there are more shutdowns, but also because the shutdowns matter more as the internet becomes more central to more people’s lives.

“The pandemic has just accelerated all of that,” Keyserling said.

Between the lines: Large tech companies — including Google and Facebook — publish transparency reports that offer glimpses of how often their services were hit by shutdowns, but Keyserling says such reports show only part of the picture.

  • Internet shutdowns can be total, but they often take other forms, including blocking social media or specific sites using a variety of means — some of which initially resemble technical problems rather than deliberate state action.
  • Attack methods include throttling Internet speeds, denial-of-service attacks, blocking specific IP addresses and cutting off mobile data access.
  • While broad shutdowns are often the tool of choice for dictators and those conducting coups, global powers are also conducting targeted cyberattacks against other countries.

Yikes.

  • Pino Ivan Louis, 36, Tororo, Uganda: “It was devastating. I felt like a piece of me had been cut off.”
  • Jameel, 16, Baghdad, Iraq: “I couldn’t talk to my parents without spending money, nor could I contact my relatives living outside Iraq. I lost connections to all my online friends outside Iraq.”
  • Benjamin, 34, Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo: “There is ongoing armed ethnic violence throughout our region, and most of the people live in insecurity. Without the internet, conflicts burst out and we do not know about it. Women are raped. Villages are burned down.”